Netflix and UN Women Launch ‘Because She Watched’ Collection to Celebrate Women’s Day

Netflix and UN Women March 4 launched “Because She Watched” — a special Netflix collection of series, documentaries and films to celebrate International Women’s Day.

The collection, which will be available all year, is curated by female creators from behind and in front of the camera — including Sophia Loren, Janet Mock, Salma Hayek, Yalitza Aparicio, Millie Bobby Brown, Laurie Nunn, Lana Condor, Petra Costa and Ava DuVernay.

“This collaboration is about taking on the challenge of telling women’s stories and showing women in all their diversity,” said Anita Bhatia, UN Women deputy executive director, in a statement. “It’s about making visible the invisible, and proving that only by fully representing and including women on screen, behind-the-camera and in our narratives overall, society will truly flourish.”

Created for International Women’s Day, with the official theme this year of “I am Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights,” the collection celebrates series, films and documentaries — from “Unbelievable” and “Followers” to “Orange Is the New Black,” Lionheart and “Sex Education” — that “have started important, often hard, conversations that have helped to challenge the way we see the world,” according to a Netflix release.

“Having a world where everyone is truly represented is about true democracy,” said actress Laverne Cox in a statement. “And truly seeing ourselves allows us to envision endless possibilities for ourselves and each other. ‘Orange Is the New Black is the first project where I felt genuinely empowered as a woman thanks to the woman at the helm of the show, Jenji Kohan, and the many women directors, writers, producers, and crew members as well as the stories that centered diverse women in an unprecedented way. This show created a space and platform for me as a black openly trans woman that created space for other openly trans women of all races to be truly seen in the depth of our humanity.”

The collection is available at Netflix.com/BecauseSheWatched. Every title in the collection will be labeled “XXXX’s Women’s Day Pick” so members can easily see who picked which story. In addition, members will be able to choose from a selection of “Because She Watched” profile icons to celebrate their favorite female characters from the collection.

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“TV and film have the power to reflect and shape popular culture, which is why we believe it’s so important that more people see their lives reflected in storytelling.” said Dr. Stacy L. Smith, Founder of the USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative, in a statement. “Our research has shown that inclusion behind the camera leads to greater inclusion on screen. We’re encouraged that last year, 20% of the directors of Netflix original films were women and we are excited to celebrate these female creators on International Women’s Day. There’s still more to do to reach equality, but by recognizing female talent from around the world, we hope more women will feel encouraged to tell their stories, pushing that number even higher.”

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UN Women and Netflix’s partnership in support of the  Generation Equality campaign comes on the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, recognized as a visionary agenda for women’s rights. “We hope that it will spread the message that realizing women’s rights means putting women front and center to achieve gender equality,” the Netflix release read.

Fandango Survey Finds Women Increasingly Interested in Movies Employing Women Onscreen and Off

In honor of International Women’s Day March 8, Fandango has released surveys of two different samples of more than 1,000 female moviegoers (conducted in March 2018 and again in March 2019) and found increased interest in movies employing women onscreen and off.

Among the findings:

  • In 2018, 85% women identified themselves as the decisionmakers when picking movies for family and friends. In 2019, 87% say they are the decisionmakers.
  • In 2018, 75% of women wanted to see more female ensembles on the big screen. In 2019, 85% would like to see more female ensembles.
  • In 2018, 57% preferred female-driven stories presented by female filmmakers/writers. In 2019, 63% prefer female-driven stories told by female filmmakers/writers.

“It’s clear from our survey that more female moviegoers want to see women-driven stories told by female filmmakers and directors,” Fandango correspondent Alicia Malone said in a statement. “There are so many talented filmmakers deserving opportunities to make their movies. With growing conversation and demand for representation in the film industry, I’m excited to see more diverse offerings in the future.”

In celebration of Malone’s new book, The Female Gaze: Essential Movies Made by WomenFandangoNOW, Fandango’s TVOD service, is highlighting a curated selection of classic movies cited in the book, including Penny Marshall’s Big and A League of Their Own, Greta Gerwig’s Lady Bird, Gurinda Chadha’s Bend It Like Beckham, Chloe Zhao’s The Rider, and Amy Heckerling’s Clueless.

Fandango is also hosting two South by Southwest Film Festival panels with Malone March 8 and March 11 to discuss the evolving images and views of women’s representation on the big screen over the last few years.

Doc ‘A Classy Broad’ Coming to Digital March 5 From Virgil

The documentary A Classy Broad: Marcia’s Adventures in Hollywood, about trailblazing executive Marcia Nasatir, the first female VP of production at United Artists, comes to digital March 5 from Virgil Films.

The film will also have weeklong theatrical engagement at L.A.’s Laemmle Music Hall — in conjunction with International Women’s Day — starting March 8.

A Classy Broad, as told mainly in Nasatir’s voice, is directed by Anne Goursaud, known for her editing work on Francis Ford Coppola’s The Outsiders and Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

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Nasatir’s legendary career as an executive began in 1970s when she was recruited by Mike Medavoy at UA as story editor, a position she negotiated into a VP title, paving the way for women to achieve this executive status quo within a male-dominated movie industry.  While there, Nasatir championed Rocky, Carrie, Apocalypse Now and One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest. She later joined Johnny Carson’s production company and fought to produce The Big Chill, which garnered three Oscar nominations for Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress (Glenn Close) and Best Screenplay. With Marcia Nasatir Productions, she independently produced the Vietnam drama Hamburger Hill and Ironweed, starring Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.

At 92 years old, Marcia is an active member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and serves on the Foreign Language Film Award Executive Committee.